Title: 12 songs by Willie Nelson
Disclaimer: I don't own Willie Nelson. His 12 songs. Or that 70's show.
Summary: Jackie's summer alone turns into a summer on the phone with the man that she just can't seem to leave behind.
Credit: Well here you go. The last chapter. It was like a great New Year's Party and now this is the last guest to stumble into a cab and go home. Now I have to go pass out on my couch and sleep it off. Hope you guys enjoyed yourself and there wasn't too much garlic salt in the cheese ball. Thanks and mega watt smiles to Starlight and Kashmir –AGAIN – because I love them. And they keep delivering with the quotes. Thanks for reading and reviewing everybody. I really appreciate it. Thank you –Thank you – Thank you!
Song Cred: Song 12. You Remain. This is a duet with Bonnie Raitt. The song is a little sad. But that won't affect our final chapter.
Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones,
as the wind blows out the candle and blow up the bonfire.
- François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
"It's true. I love Steven Hyde. And some day he'll love me. And he'll cut off those stupid sideburns and we'll live happily ever after."
- Jackie (MOPP)
What do you do with the sands of time?
When they care out lines around your eyes
I can close my fist up good and tight
But I can't hold back the sands of time
What do you do with a memory?
That just hangs around and stares at me
I can tear that frame down off the wall
But it won't erase the things I saw
Night and day
Night and day
What do you do with old regrets?
There's a box full underneath the bed
Just close enough not to forget
But what do you do with old regrets
There's an old house key
In the kitchen drawer
To a door I can't unlock no more
Sometimes I hold that key real tight
But what do you do after goodbye?
Night and day
Night and day
Steven Hyde paced in front of the big glasses windows leading out unto the landing strip about 30 miles outside of Point Place, Wisconsin. Jackie's flight had been delayed by the weather. Apparently the pilot had to steer off course to avoid a bad front somewhere near Illinois. So he had been pacing for about thirty minutes and now he was worried again. Not because of the reunion but for Jackie's safety.
Oh god! If she ever got her feet back on the ground he was never letting her out of his sight again. This was bullshit. The waiting, the worrying, and that look the other people at the airport kept giving him. Some old lady had flat out asked him whom he was so anxiously waiting for. He had told her his girlfriend, and she had smiled knowingly.
He checked his watch for the 30th time. And it revealed it was two minutes later than the last time he checked. He glanced over at the woman working the info booth and began to walk over there again for the 15th time. When she picked up the phone and used the paging function to inform the whole airport the answer to his question.
"Flight Number 12 from Arizona is now unloading. Flight number 13 will be boarding momentarily. Sorry for the inconvenience." She then slammed the phone down and took a break.
Hyde didn't think he'd been that annoying. He turned around to face the doors wear passengers unloaded. He stood there empty handed suddenly fidgeting. He had resisted the romantic compulsion to get her flowers or a banner or something because lets face it he wasn't that guy. But now he wished he had brought something –just so he wouldn't feel so stupid here doing nothing. What could he do? Cross his arms and look like he was pissed? Put his hand in his back pocket and look bored? What was the appropriate look for I haven't seen the girl I love in 3 months because I cheated on her and she ran away but now we are back together? Did such a stance exist? In the end he compromised –putting his hands in his front pockets and looking Zen.
The passengers on first class began to file out and he briefly wished things were the way they used to be and that Jackie's money could have gotten her home. He was sure Coach was as big as a change for her as asking Kelso for help was to him. Soon they were letting out and Hyde found himself angling his head above the crowd looking for the tiny pixie. A lot of people were on this plane, a lot of tall people and they were getting on his nerves. Stupid Giants. Where the hell was Jackie?
Jackie felt the plane land. And heard the Pilot tell them they could take off their seat belts. She was so relieved. That delay had almost killed her. And the last thing she wanted, now that she knew Steven was at the airport, was to keep him waiting. To keep herself waiting. She had waited long enough. As the members of first class got off the plane Jackie felt a momentary sting of self-pity. She'd be in Steven's arms right now if she was still rich. But she had found that Coach wasn't that bad. The people were nice. Jackie looked to the businessman beside her.
"He'll still be there when you get off." He assured. Jackie smiled. She had been telling him about her and Steven since they had gotten off the phone.
"I know, I know. I'm just so ready to see him." She explained leaning around to see what the hold up was.
"Well come on" he said getting up as there section began to gather their things. He let her in front of him. She got off right behind a guy who looked like he could be a Sumo wrestler. Jackie huffed in frustration as he took his sweet time. And just when she was about to say something –her friend the businessman steered her around him. They ducked behind a family of six and came around behind the Information booth. Jackie searched the crowd for Steven. She found him quickly. She took a moment to soak in the sight of him and enjoy the fact that he seemed to be searching for her impatiently.
God she had missed him. On some level she registered the goodbye nice to meet you her friend from the airplane offered but the rest of her was too happy to even respond. She was home. She quietly ran the last couple of steps keeping her from him and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Hey baby, stop looking you found me." She said in her most flirty voice.
Steven whirled around hands still in his pockets. How the hell had she snuck up on him? He looked at her and was not prepared. God was she always this beautiful? Had he really spent the entire previous summer and most of the school year with someone this gorgeous in love with him? Was that really love shining in her eyes again now? "Oh god Jackie I missed you" he spat out removing his hands and reaching down to envelope her in his arms.
Jackie thought she might die. Maybe she already had. This better be what heaven feels like. Steven had his head in the crook of her neck and his arms were clutched near the base of her spine. Nothing had ever felt more right. She threw her arms around his neck almost crawling up his body trying to press her entire length against him and –damn it she couldn't help it – began to cry. He had not been the only one who had thought this was never going to happen again. At the beginning of the summer she had been convinced she could never forgive him. And she mourned the loss of his arms as much as his trust. God how could she have ever thought she could live without this?
Hyde felt her begin to cry and for once he didn't try to stop her. He wanted her to cry enough happy tears for the both of them. Because standing here with everything he could have lost he finally realized what he had gained. He pulled back only slightly so he could look her in the face. There he saw tears and love and freckles. He smiled. He didn't have his sunglasses on so he hoped she could see how true his next statement was going to be. "Jackie I love you so much."
Then he saw it and she felt it. How that statement was supposed to be said. They'd both pretty much tainted their first declarations of love. But this, this was perfect.
Jackie smiled "I love you too."
And then there was no more need for words. They had spoken enough. No more waiting, no more country music and no more phones. Now was the time for having, and silence, and kissing.
Jackie felt Steven's lips before they even touched hers. The memories flooded her and she was so glad he was holding her because they were a lot more powerful with the real thing right in front of her, and she just might have collapsed under the sway.
Hyde felt completely out of control. He knew her lips like the back of his hand, could probably tell you how many teeth she had from first hand exploration, but 3 months without her had turned him into a ravenous novice. He wanted to relearn every part of her. And he didn't really care if he had to start in this airport.
After about 10 solid minutes of touching and assuring each other that they indeed were both here and back together and all moved on, they broke apart for air. Jackie still had tears in her eyes and Hyde had developed a knot in his stomach from all the need.
She smiled up at him, touching his face –newly shaven – "I'm so glad I'm home."
He sighed enjoying the touch. He leaned down kissing her nose. "I'm glad your home too. And I love your freckles."
She laughed, squirming away from him and grabbing her bag. She wasn't gone long though. She snuggled into his side and pulled them in the direction of the luggage pick-up. "Oh god, they are horrible. I just want to scrub them all off."
He followed –grabbing the carry-on bag from her. "Oh I think I could come up with better things to do to them."
She smirked, but silently planned on taking him up on the offer. If absence made the heart grow fonder she must have really really missed him.
They reached the baggage carousel and Steven grabbed all her luggage. He made fun of her extravagance and she hit him. She was so glad things could go back to normal. For the first time she felt like they had a clean slate.
When they got out to the car Steven opened the door for her and she got in. She was surprised that even here none of the bad feeling reemerged. She didn't need to see her smile to know it was huge. Steven got in the car and started it up.
"So what do you want to do now?" he meant, did she want to go to Donna's or her house or if he was really lucky the basement. But chuckled at Jackie's response.
"Bowling?," she joked, referencing their first date.
God that night seemed like a thousand years ago. The summers between then and now had seen to that. He was pretty sure he had loved her then. He wondered briefly how differently things would have been if he had admitted it. It would have been different, maybe less painful, but he couldn't regret the way things had turned out. This was where he wanted to be.
Jackie smiled at Steven's contemplative look. She wondered if he was remembering that night the way she did. She knew even then that if she was with Steven things were going to be serious. That is why she had denied her feelings. But she was ready now.
Hyde saw the same look on Jackie's face he knew was on his. He reached over placing his hand palm up on the seat between them and pulled out of the parking lot. "Well – I'm not opposed to doing it". He began.
She closed the distance, twining her fingers with his "Take me home you pig." She continued.
Hyde laughed feeling happier than he had ever felt in his life and finished the dance they had started all those years ago. "Yes dear."
A/N: Hey again everybody! Thanks so much for reading. I'm dedicating this one to all the guys on Fan Forum whose favorite episode is Jackie bags Hyde. If you don't get the last part –go read a transcript for that episode or watch it again if you have it. It is a wonderful J/H fantabulous episode!
Long live Willie Nelson and J + H Forever!